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Cops: Driver on Drugs When Crash Killed NJ Officer

Morris County Prosecutor's Office

Morris County prosecutors say an investigation into the death of a Mount Arlington police officer found the motorist who crashed into his cruiser on Interstate 80 had codeine, morphine and two other drugs in his system at the time.

The Daily Record reports that a phone analysis also found that 29-year-old Michael Cassella of Howell had texted a friend about an hour before the Oct. 16 midnight crash that he was “driving home and bent.” And that even earlier he had texted he was feeling “cooked.”

The new details emerged as an indictment was handed up Thursday against Cassella. The unemployed mortgage broker is charged with aggravated manslaughter and vehicular homicide in the death of 38-year-old Patrolman Joseph Wargo.

Cassella is free on $500,000 bail. He described himself in a court affidavit as a recovering heroin addict.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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